New sensors enable robots to adjust the strength of their grip


Based in London, Shadow Robot is a company specializing in the development of robotic hands that mimic every aspect of the human hand.

Shadow Robot’s latest anthropomorphic robot hand, called the Dexterous Hand, consists of 24 joints with “20 actuated degrees of freedom and a further 4 under-actuated movements.

Even more amazing is the Dexterous Hand’s Kinect depth-sensing camera that allows it to analyze objects in 3-D to determine the degree of strength and the number of fingers to be used in the grip of a particular object.

Once it has seen an object, and worked out its orientation with respect to itself, it works out the best way to grasp it. Even when it is holding the object it continually monitors the stability of the grasp using its pressure and touch sensors,” says Gavin Cassidy, Shadow Robot’s head of operations.

Regardless of the object, be it an apple, light bulb, or metal beam, the Dexterous Hand can analyze and adjust the strength of  its grip accordingly.




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Kristian strives to enlighten and entertain readers. In addition to his teaching and editorial responsibilities, he is working on a science-fiction novel that promises not to include exoskeleton suits and anemic aliens floating in mysterious vats of green-tinted goop.

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